Saturday, January 16, 2010
Poe Fridays (on Saturday)
It's our last week of Poe Fridays, and Kristen told us we could pick ANYTHING we wanted to talk about this week - my selection is The Masque of the Red Death. You can read the full text here.
This is the story of Prince Prospero, hiding with his subjects from the dreaded Red Death. He decides to have a masquerade ball, with seven rooms each decorated in a different color. The last room is black, with with a blood-red light. Most of Prospero's guests are too scared to enter this room. At the stroke of midnight, Prospero notices a guest dressed in black robes, with a mask, looking like a representation of the Red Death. Prospero is insulted, and chases the man through the ball. When they reach the final, black room, the man turns to face Prospero, and the prince falls dead.
I was first introduced to this story in high school, and it was one of my favorite that we read that year. I was intrigued by it's gothic nature, and the many interpretations that could be drawn. I remember this was one of the few stories that actually generated discussion - most of the time our English classes were notably silent, but Red Death really got us talking.
It's been good spending the year reading and learning more about Poe. Thanks to Kristen, who hosted Poe Fridays each week at WeBeReading.